Road Rules To Follow When Driving In Australia

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Australia is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and for good reason. Hot weather, stunning beaches and a variety of tourist attractions are in abundance, and to truly experience it all, you may be considering hiring a car. This does come with some uncertainties however, especially if you aren’t used to driving in Australia. Here is our guide of road rules to follow when driving in Australia for international travellers.

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Drive On The Left

Australians drive on the left side of two-way roads. This can take some getting used to if you come from a country that drives on the right, so ask your passengers to remind you before you set off and when turning at junctions.

Follow The Speed Limit

Speed limits are strictly enforced in Australia, but they vary depending on the state you are in. For this reason we recommend  always looking out for them wherever you go. Most importantly, be aware that in Australia, speed is measured in kilometres per hour rather than miles per hour, so this must be taken into account if you come from a country that uses miles to ensure you do not accidentally break the speed limit. Most cars have both km/h and mph on the speedometer, so this shouldn’t be too hard to adhere to. In most Australian states, the speed limit is 50 km/h in built-up areas, except in the Northern Territory where it is 60 km/h. School zone limits are more varied but are usually 40 km/h. Do your research on the speed limit rules of the state you are in before hitting the road.

Follow The Overtaking Rules

Road markings indicate where you’re allowed to overtake another vehicle. Where the central line marking on the road is a single broken line, this means you can overtake the vehicle in front when it is safe to do so. If the centre marking has two lines and the line closest to your vehicle is broken, you must not overtake. If you see arrows on the road, you must only drive in the direction they indicate. Remember to drive safely and only overtake if you can see clearly ahead, no matter the road markings.

Pay The Tolls

There are many toll roads in Australia, including lots of the motorways surrounding major cities. Some of these are fully electronic, meaning you can only pay with an electronic pass or tag. You can buy a visitor’s tag in advance which is the most advisable option, or pay up to three days after you use the road, but make sure you don’t forget or you could face fines. Electronic tags can usually be used throughout Australia, but it’s best to check with the traffic rules of the area you will be visiting, again to avoid fines.

Park In Line With Traffic

A general rule in Australia is that when you park on-road, you should always park in line with traffic. This means that you should only park with the car facing forward on the left side of the road, with the passenger door (on the left) closest to the curb. If you can’t get to a space without driving illegally on the wrong side of the road, find somewhere else to park. On some one-way streets, you can park on either side of the road, but you still need to face the direction of traffic. Hiring a car ensures that your vacation in Australia is exactly what you want it to be, with freedom and fun at your fingertips. At Economy Rental Cars, we can provide you with the right rental for amazing value, so you can explore the Gold Coast at your own pace. Get in contact for a quote or to book now.
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